I have a confession to make. Those who read my blog that were with me tonight, its really not a big deal. And it all turned out in the end. But my confession is that I have never made homemade lasagna before today. That's right folks! Up until this point in my life, I have only ever eaten frozen. *gasp*
The thing about homemade lasagna is that it takes a long time. It's really tasty, but most of the time its just easy to make the frozen one. The other thing is that its usually not that low in the fat or calorie count. The recipe I cooked from today said the average serving of lasagna has 1,313 calories! THAT'S INSANE!!!! But there are ways to cut back on the bad stuff and make a delicious dish that is better for you.
The recipe I used was in Everyday with Rachael Ray. Below is my modified version. I added meat since we were eating with boys and boys tend to like meat. And by the way, Mrs. Ray said prep-time was only 45 minutes. Ummm....it took me a LOT longer than that! But the end result was fantastic!
Mostly Classic Lasagna
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lb. ground turkey (I used beef tonight.)
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
salt and pepper
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
One 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes (I used the kind with basil.)
Nine 8-inch whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 egg white
shredded Parmesan cheese
Part-skim mozzarella cheese
Red wine (optional)
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
1 tbsp. oregano
1. Season ground meat with Italian seasoning (to taste) and brown in a large skillet. Drain (if need be) and set aside in a medium bowl. Clean skillet because you'll need it again!
2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in large skillet, and add half of the mushrooms. Salt and stir mushrooms and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Pour in about 2 tablespoons of red wine and cook until mushrooms are soft (about 5 minutes). Add cooked mushrooms to meat and repeat process with the other half of the mushrooms. (Why cook only half at a time? Because Julia Child says you should NOT CROWD THE MUSHROOMS!!!!)
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and cook lasagna noodles to al dente. (About 8-10 minutes, but consult directions on package.)
4. Return skillet to heat and pour in 1 tbsp of olive oil and chopped garlic. Cook garlic on medium-low for about 1 minutes. Add tomatoes, parsley, and oregano, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until sauce thickens up. Add 3/4 cup of tomato sauce to meat and mushroom mixture and set aside.
5. In a food processor or blender, puree cottage cheese, egg white, and 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.
6. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish and spread just enough tomato sauce to lightly cover the bottom of the dish. (About 1/2 to 3/4 cup.) Lay three lasagna noodles across bottom of pan. Then layer 1/2 each of meat and mushroom mixture, cottage cheese mixture, and a light layer of mozzarella cheese. Lay three more noodles down, and repeat meat/mushrooms, cottage cheese, and mozzarella. Lay the last three noodles down and top with remaining sauce.
7. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for about 10-15 more minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let rest for about 10j-15 minutes to let lasagna set.
Side suggestions: Salad, garlic bread, green beans
Other suggestion: Don't let a man cut the lasagna to serve. The pieces will end up being about 4 normal serving sizes large! : )